Protecting forests

Conserving forests

Deforestation and species loss are problems that have plagued modernization the world over. The worldwide estimate of the deforestation rate which was calculated by the FAO in 1980 was a loss of some 11.3 million hectares annually. With the loss of these forests, animals species biodiversity is greatly threatened. Population pressure and bad governmental policies has led to much deforestation. Global implications are that the world's food supply at risk, as well as, the international commerce based on the trade of agricultural commodities. It is necessary to reform government policies regarding land use to help manage the problem.

Initiatives to promote forest protection include; initiatives to protect forests against atmospheric pollution and fire; afforestation; the improvement of woodlands; the protection of forests; the development of forest infrastructure; the development of appropriate forests products; the conservation of genetic resources of forests collection; and, the compilation of forestry information from different countries in support of forestry related research programmes addressing agriculture, environment, biotechnology and energy.

This strategy features in the framework of Agenda 21 as formulated at UNCED (Rio de Janeiro, 1992), now coordinated by the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development and implemented through national and local authorities.

Agenda 21 recommends:

(a) increasing the protection of forests from pollutants, fire, pests and diseases and other human-made interferences such as forest poaching, mining and unmitigated shifting cultivation, the uncontrolled introduction of exotic plant and animal species;

(b) developing and accelerating research for a better understanding of problems relating to the management and regeneration of all types of forest;

(c) strengthening and/or establishing appropriate measures to assess and/or check inter-border movement of plants and related materials;

(d) enhancing the protection, sustainable management and conservation of all forests, and the greening of degraded areas, through forest rehabilitation, afforestation, reforestation and other rehabilitative means.


The Third Ministerial Conference Environment for Europe (Sofia, October 1995) endorsed the Pan-European Biological and Landscape Diversity Strategy and supported the creation of a Common Work-Programme on the Conservation and Enhancement of Biological and Landscape Diversity in Forest Ecosystems in Europe for the period from 1997 to 2000. The European Union Forestry Strategy called for by the European Parliament in its Resolution of 30 January 1997 includes actions to promote the conservation and enhancement of biodiversity in forests.

Destroying forests
Type Classification:
C: Cross-sectoral strategies
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and CommunitiesGOAL 12: Responsible Consumption and ProductionGOAL 13: Climate ActionGOAL 15: Life on Land